Columbus, OH — Keith E. Jackson, 62, died Jan. 2, 2021, at Tidal Health Nanticoke in Seaford, Del., after a brief illness.
Born in Salisbury, Md., he was the son of the late Elmer (Eugene) and Margaret A. Jackson of Willards, Md.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 36 years, Denise B.; loyal companion, his dog Lucy; and cousins, Bryce (Beth) Collins, Kevin (Karen) Collins and Lloyd Allen Davis.
Mr. Jackson attended Willards Elementary School and then Pittsville High School until the 11th grade. He was a member of the first graduating class of Parkside High School in Salisbury, Md., in 1976.
As a young boy he enjoyed farming and caring for his uncle’s livestock. He played Little League baseball for the Willards Chicks. In Pittsville and Parkside High School he played varsity baseball and basketball.
After high school, he was employed by Commercial Credit in Salisbury, Md. In 1978 he began his career at Perdue Farms Inc. until 1988. During his time at Perdue Farms he held several positions. He was a flock supervisor for Perdue North and in 1982 he was honored as one of Delmarva’s top flock supervisors at the University of Maryland’s Serviceman’s Poultry Conference. He was a hatchery manager and finished his career at Perdue Farms Inc. as a live haul manager for the Perdue Salisbury Processing plant.
After his time at Perdue he pursued his dream job of training Standardbreds. He had purchased his first racehorse as a teenager with friend Randy Truitt. Mr. Jackson trained and raced Standardbreds at several east coast tracks from New York to Virginia, but primarily raced at Ocean Downs, Rosecroft Raceway, Harrington Raceway and Dover Downs.
During the next 25 years of training and racing he made many long and lasting friendships, won many races and had some sorrows along the way. For him it wasn’t just a job it was a way of life and he truly loved doing it.
He had recently purchased a yearling colt with longtime friend Tom Davis of New Church, Va., and he was looking forward to seeing him compete in the coming year.
Mr. Jackson was a member of the Delaware Standardbred Owners Association, the USTA and the Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners Association of Maryland.
After leaving horse racing in 2013 he did field services work for various mortgage and insurance companies. At the time of his death he was semi-retired and managed a couple of investment properties.
He enjoyed shooting pool and he was an Americian Poolplayers Association member. He competed in local and state tournaments. He played for a team sponsored by his favorite local bar, Cinnamons in Seaford. In addition to shooting pool at Cinnamons he loved socializing with his large family of friends. They shared many laughs and tears together.
He was a Baltimore Orioles baseball fan, a Ravens football fan and he enjoyed watching golf.
He was a member of the Loyal order of the Moose #1728 in Seaford, the Seaford Elks lodge #2458 and the Sons of the American Legion post #6 in Seaford.
As a young man he respected his elders and learned a lot from their wisdom. On many occasions he would carry an elderly man to Ocean Downs for a night out watching the horses race. He liked to play gin rummy with a local tavern owner. He was firm and believed in fair play for all and would help anyone down on their luck. He was a kind and tenderhearted man who cared deeply for his family and friends and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Gravesides services will be on Friday (Jan. 15) at 1 p.m. at Powellville Cemetery, Powellville, Md. Friends may call at the Cranston Funeral Home, 300 N. Shipley St., Seaford, Del., on Thursday evening (Jan. 14) from 6-8 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Delaware SOA Horseman’s Welfare Trust Fund, 830 Walker Sq., Suite 11-2, Dover, DE 19904.